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Farb

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In another thread, it was brought to my attention that we am not allowed to use certain centuries old definitions because they have been 'updated'. That discussion was about the definition of 'racism'. I asked who controls the 'words' and who exactly gets to update the meaning of those commonly used words.

I saw this yesterday and thought this would be a discussion to attempt to have.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...e-terms-like-birthing-parents-human-milk.html

https://news.yahoo.com/democrats-replace-women-birthing-people-033500864.html

IMO this is a move to be 'inclusive' to trans people at the sake of women (we are discussing birthing humans after all).

The recent call to change the word for a person who comes into a country illegally from Alien to undocumented. Why? What possible purpose does it serve?

Even 'white supremacy' doesn't mean 'white supremacy'.

I am sure we are all somewhat familiar with Orwell and 1984. So i thought this would be a good place to post and discuss the language that we are seeing right in front of us. If we can't even share a language with common definitions, how do we expect to share a government?
 

brandon

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Before we dive too deep into the Orwellian weeds, let's start here:

Do you understand the difference between connotation and denotation?

dictionary.com said:

connotation​

[ kon-uh-tey-shuhn ]SHOW IPA


See synonyms for: connotation / connotations / connotative on Thesaurus.com

noun​

  1. the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning:A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”
  2. the act of connoting; the suggesting of an additional meaning for a word or expression, apart from its explicit meaning.
something suggested or implied by a word or thing, rather than being explicitly named or described:“Religion” has always had a negative connotation for me.

dictionary.com said:

denotation​

[ dee-noh-tey-shuhn ]SHOW IPA


See synonyms for denotation on Thesaurus.com

noun​

the explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that a word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience.
 

Xeno

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It's almost like every language is a constantly changing and evolving thing. Words change meaning, new words are introduced, old words fall out of use.

But that doesn't really fit your narrative, does it?

Oh but yes, oh I say, good sir, oh 1984 doublespeak oh harumph oh oh bopadopabopadobo!
 

SystemShock

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It's almost like every language is a constantly changing and evolving thing. Words change meaning, new words are introduced, old words fall out of use.

But that doesn't really fit your narrative, does it?

Oh but yes, oh I say, good sir, oh 1984 doublespeak oh harumph oh oh bopadopabopadobo!

Orwell reference and presentation aside, there is a point to be made about how we treat language and force certain changes out of biases. George Carlin had some fantastic rants about it, and how partly cloudy became partly sunny.
 

Xeno

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Orwell reference and presentation aside, there is a point to be made about how we treat language and force certain changes out of biases. George Carlin had some fantastic rants about it, and how partly cloudy became partly sunny.

George Carlin also talked about how he didn't vote because he thought politicians were all bought and paid for. I love George Carlin. He was hilarious, and he made a lot of points I agree with. He also made a lot of not so great points too, especially towards the end of his career/life.

What you're talking about is exactly the same thing I'm talking about. Language evolves with culture. I'm assuming it'll get censored, but the word gay (I'm bypassing the board censor here to make a point about the word "f a g" but the word gay is also a good example) is a perfect example. It's had different meanings in the US throughout time and has a completely different meaning in the UK.
 

DaveXA

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George Carlin also talked about how he didn't vote because he thought politicians were all bought and paid for. I love George Carlin. He was hilarious, and he made a lot of points I agree with. He also made a lot of not so great points too, especially towards the end of his career/life.

What you're talking about is exactly the same thing I'm talking about. Language evolves with culture. I'm assuming it'll get censored, but the word gay (I'm bypassing the board censor here to make a point about the word "f a g" but the word gay is also a good example) is a perfect example. It's had different meanings in the US throughout time and has a completely different meaning in the UK.

Yeah, they're pretty common words and have obviously different meanings in the UK. But, I tend to think people focus too much on words and not enough on intended meaning and context.
 

Xeno

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Yeah, they're pretty common words and have obviously different meanings in the UK. But, I tend to think people focus too much on words and not enough on intended meaning and context.

I'll agree with you there. And I'll also readily admit to being annoyed and pedantic about changes in our language at times. As an example, why am I seeing women referring to themselves as stallions? Are they not aware that a stallion is an uncastrated male horse? Words have meaning, dangit! lol.

The one the really gets on my nerves is how the word "optics" has become entrenched in the political lexicon. They keep using that word. I don't think it means what they think it means.
 

DaveXA

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I'll agree with you there. And I'll also readily admit to being annoyed and pedantic about changes in our language at times. As an example, why am I seeing women referring to themselves as stallions? Are they not aware that a stallion is an uncastrated male horse? Words have meaning, dangit! lol.

The one the really gets on my nerves is how the word "optics" has become entrenched in the political lexicon. They keep using that word. I don't think it means what they think it means.

Wasn't aware of the stallion thing. But yeah, that one doesn't make a lot of sense, lol.

I always took optics to mean appearances. But yeah, it's used an awful lot lately. That said, since Trump came on the scene, optics have become pretty meaningless.
 

Xeno

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Wasn't aware of the stallion thing. But yeah, that one doesn't make a lot of sense, lol.

I always took optics to mean appearances. But yeah, it's used an awful lot lately. That said, since Trump came on the scene, optics have become pretty meaningless.

That's what they mean when they use the word but it isn't actually what the word means. Or at least it didn't used to mean that, it seems the definition has now been updated to include the political meaning.
 

SystemShock

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George Carlin also talked about how he didn't vote because he thought politicians were all bought and paid for. I love George Carlin. He was hilarious, and he made a lot of points I agree with. He also made a lot of not so great points too, especially towards the end of his career/life.
I wasn't making a claim to authority, or implying everything he said was universal truth. However, I do agree with the principles of his overall message about language. Case and point ...

What you're talking about is exactly the same thing I'm talking about. Language evolves with culture. I'm assuming it'll get censored, but the word gay (I'm bypassing the board censor here to make a point about the word "f a g" but the word gay is also a good example) is a perfect example. It's had different meanings in the US throughout time and has a completely different meaning in the UK.

We are not talking about the same thing. Yes, language evolves over time, but I am not talking about the evolution of language; rather, I am referring to forced/imposed changes on language, whether socially or legally driven, to accommodate ideology, like the push to describe someone as an "undocumented migrant" instead of an "illegal alien". The "softer language" is not going to do anything to change to connotation of the term - someone in a country not where they were born without proper legal documentation - or change the perception of people who have a negative view of illegal aliens/undocumented migrants; just like the word "gay" - which actually has evolved - in on itself has not contributed anything to the acceptance of the practice of homosexuality.
 
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coldseat

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I wasn't making a claim to authority, or implying everything he said was universal truth. However, I do agree with the principles of his overall message about language. Case and point ...



We are not talking about the same thing. Yes, language evolves over time, but I am not talking about the evolution of language; rather, I am referring to forced/imposed changes on language, whether socially or legally driven, to accommodate ideology, like the push to describe someone as an "undocumented migrant" instead of an "illegal alien". The "softer language" is not going to do anything to change to connotation of the term - someone in a country not where they were born without proper legal documentation - or change the perception of people who have a negative view of illegal aliens/undocumented migrants; just like the word "gay" - which actually has evolved - in on itself has not contributed anything to the acceptance of the practice of homosexuality.

I think in many cases, language is being changed through "force/imposed' (as you describe it) by different entities because of public advocacy. It's being done with the clear intent to make it more accepting for marginalized groups like transgendered people or "undocumented migrants". My question is why is that bad? Because it makes other people feel uncomfortable? It's not taking away rights from anybody else, just making things more inclusive for people who have felt on the outside their whole existence. The changes in meaning of words also reflect a more accurate description (as with "undocumented migrants").

At the same time, these aren't changes that are being made in a vacuum that are just fulfilling a progressive wish list. Even in the article that @Farb posted, it adds this:

The new terms will be used for documents, protocols and Trust-wide communication.

They will also be used when discussing pregnancy, birth and parenting at a population level - such as at a meeting.

The Trust stressed that when interacting with a patient in a one-on-one scenario, midwives should continue referring to their gender.
A policy document released this week, said staff should not stop using the word 'woman' or other terms describing motherhood but they should consciously start adding in the word 'people' and other more inclusive language.

So it's not some attempt to get rid of women or Mother's. I mean, all I saw on Facebook this weekend was Mother this and Mother all over the place.

A lot of the reaction and consternation just seems like the stuff of old curmudgeon, just like so many of the other complaints on the right these days. I mean, I get it that the world is changing around them the they don't understand it. It just means you're getting old not that the world is going the hell, at least not because of this. I'm getting old too, I understand about half of all the changes with langue/gender/sex, etc. I'm really no different, I'm just not scared of it.
 
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J-DONK

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A lot of the reaction and consternation just seems like the stuff of old curmudgeon, just like so many of the other complaints on the right these days. I mean, I get it that the world is changing around them the they don't understand it. It just means you getting old, not that the world is going the hell, at least not because of this. I'm getting old too, I understand about half of all the changes with langue/gender/sex, etc. I'm really no different, I'm just not scared of it.

Maybe the culture war is used as a distraction, and divisive device to keep the poors from enacting a class war.
 

SystemShock

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I think in many cases, language is being changed through "force/imposed' (as you describe it) by different entities because of public advocacy.
"Public advocacy" can very well be socially forced/imposed. The "softer" language doesn't change the action.
It's being done with the clear intent to make it more accepting for marginalized groups like transgendered people or "undocumented migrants".
And yet, it changes nothing for the people who don't accept the condition, or the people in that condition (other than feelings, maybe...)

My question is why is that bad? Because it makes other people feel uncomfortable? It's not taking away rights from anybody else, just making things more inclusive for people who have felt on the outside their whole existence.
Making people feel uncomfortable/alienating people works both ways, doesn't it?

The changes in meaning of words also reflect a more accurate description (as with "undocumented migrants").
Isn't an undocumented migrant someone who is in a country not where they were born without being legally allowed into that country, i.e., an illegal alien? The "softer" language changes nothing, except probably making the people who coin those "softer" terms feel better about themselves. Because the people who do not appreciate other people who are in the condition described by either term, are not gong to appreciate them because of the softer language. Would you feel better about a convicted murdered if they were referred to as a "legally declared passing away facilitator"?

At the same time, these aren't changes that are being made in a vacuum that are just fulfilling a progressive wish list. Even in the article that @Farb posted, it adds this:
And we go back to transgenders, which I was trying to avoid (insert Al Pacino meme). I take it you have not considered that some people like to be called "mothers" and "fathers" even in population level communications, documents, protocols, etc...

I think that, instead of purseyfooting around terms, we all should follow my example: when discussing gender, I am reduced to referring to chromosome pairings, lest I be corrected about what gender means. So instead of "mother", "father", "birthing person", etc, we should just go with "spermatozoa provider" and "egg cultivator".

A lot of the reaction and consternation just seems like the stuff of old curmudgeon, just like so many of the other complaints on the right these days. I mean, I get it that the world is changing around them the they don't understand it. It just means you getting old, not that the world is going the hell, at least not because of this. I'm getting old too, I understand about half of all the changes with langue/gender/sex, etc. I'm really no different, I'm just not scared of it.
Oh, yeah... of course. I'm an old curmudgeon and I am sooo scared of change. Come on, man...
 

samiam5211

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In another thread, it was brought to my attention that we am not allowed to use certain centuries old definitions because they have been 'updated'. That discussion was about the definition of 'racism'. I asked who controls the 'words' and who exactly gets to update the meaning of those commonly used words.

I saw this yesterday and thought this would be a discussion to attempt to have.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...e-terms-like-birthing-parents-human-milk.html

https://news.yahoo.com/democrats-replace-women-birthing-people-033500864.html

IMO this is a move to be 'inclusive' to trans people at the sake of women (we are discussing birthing humans after all).

The recent call to change the word for a person who comes into a country illegally from Alien to undocumented. Why? What possible purpose does it serve?

Even 'white supremacy' doesn't mean 'white supremacy'.

I am sure we are all somewhat familiar with Orwell and 1984. So i thought this would be a good place to post and discuss the language that we are seeing right in front of us. If we can't even share a language with common definitions, how do we expect to share a government?

The word "alien" was used to refer to anyone who is not a US national. Someone here legally on a B2 visa would also be an "alien".

"Undocumented" only replaces the word "illegal". People cannot be illegal, only actions are illegal. That is the reason for the change in that part of the terminology.
 

coldseat

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"Public advocacy" can very well be socially forced/imposed. The "softer" language doesn't change the action.

And yet, it changes nothing for the people who don't accept the condition, or the people in that condition (other than feelings, maybe...)


Making people feel uncomfortable/alienating people works both ways, doesn't it?


Isn't an undocumented migrant someone who is in a country not where they were born without being legally allowed into that country, i.e., an illegal alien? The "softer" language changes nothing, except probably making the people who coin those "softer" terms feel better about themselves. Because the people who do not appreciate other people who are in the condition described by either term, are not gong to appreciate them because of the softer language. Would you feel better about a convicted murdered if they were referred to as a "legally declared passing away facilitator"?


And we go back to transgenders, which I was trying to avoid (insert Al Pacino meme). I take it you have not considered that some people like to be called "mothers" and "fathers" even in population level communications, documents, protocols, etc...

I think that, instead of purseyfooting around terms, we all should follow my example: when discussing gender, I am reduced to referring to chromosome pairings, lest I be corrected about what gender means. So instead of "mother", "father", "birthing person", etc, we should just go with "spermatozoa provider" and "egg cultivator".


Oh, yeah... of course. I'm an old curmudgeon and I am sooo scared of change. Come on, man...
Lol, I can respond to your whole response by just responding to that one question/statement. Here it goes: "Yes it does, And "Oh Well".

My personal preference is for us to treat each other with dignity and respect. If that means changing what we call people or language to make marginalized groups feel more a part of our society and spread acceptance, then good. If old people are upset about it, "Oh Well". We (the old) will eventually die and young people will carry on, change the language anyway and live long enough to see themselves be on the other side of this argument with language in the future.

In other words, this isn't as big a deal as it's being made out to be. Sorry I'm not as upset as your are about this.
 
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Hamish Howl

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I don't see what the big deal is. Changing the way I say things to accommodate others neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
 

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